Duterte gives PDEA full power to lead campaign on illegal drugs

Oct. 12, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte at Camp Quintin M. Merecido, Catitipan, Buhangin, Davao City. 29 June 2017 (Robby Joy D. Salveron/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO DEL NORTE, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte has given the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) the full power to lead the government’s war on illegal drugs.

The President signed a memorandum on Tuesday, October 10, directing PDEA to be the sole agency to oversee all drug-related operations across the country.

PDEA, according to Duterte, will bring “order to the operation and campaign” of the government, saying that he wants the agency to have the “precise accountability.”

With Duterte’s memorandum, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Bureau of Customs (BOC) and other government agencies and anti-drug force must relay all information or data they received to the PDEA.

Duterte’s memorandum, likewise, urged the PNP to maintain police visibility at all times as a deterrent to illegal drug activities.

Back in August, Duterte floated the idea that PDEA will be leading the role at the heels of the continued abuses perpetrated by police officers.

The President’s statement came after the nation’s outrage on the killing of Grade 12 student Kian Loyd delos Santos in Caloocan City last Aug. 16.

Meanwhile, Tagum City Chief Investigator Janet Tirador said they welcome Duterte’s order that PDEA will be the leading agency to oversee the operations against illegal drugs.

“Even without the President’s order, the Tagum PNP is not conducting any operations without the proper coordination to the PDEA,” Tirador told Davao Today in an interview Wednesday, October 11.

She added that all anti-illegal drug operations are “well-coordinated with PDEA personnel.”

“The president made the right decision to strengthen the PDEA’s mandate against anti-illegal drugs,” she said.

The PDEA, created by virtue of Republic Act No. 9165, is mandated by law to undertake the enforcement of the provisions of the said law relative to the unlawful acts and penalties involving dangerous drugs and substances.

The agency is also authorized to arrest and apprehend all violators as well as search and confiscate the effects or proceeds of the crimes.(davaotoday.com)

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